Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Chernobyl Was Transparent Compared To Fukushima

LF: The information we were getting this summer included revelations that 300 tons of toxic water leaked in one week, and then in other news, the fact that 300 tons are leaking into the Pacific daily.

HW: Every day, and this is for two and half years now, and there is no end in sight. It could go on, as Dr. Helen Caldicott said, for 50 years. We've already detected radiation from Fukushima off of the coast of Alaska. There was a study of 15 tuna caught off the coast of California; out of the 15 tuna caught, 15 had radiation from Fukushima. 

LF: Radiation enough to be dangerous?
HW: Yes, you wouldn't want to eat this tuna. This is really, really serious, Laura. I look through the internet everyday; I'm getting reports from the Pacific that I can only refer to as apocalyptic: Major dead zones, radiation being detected all over the place. Radiation in even small doses, cesium, strontium, iodine, will bio-accumulate. If you get a relatively small dose into some seaweed, fish will come; they will eat enough seaweed that it will be significant; they will be eaten up the food chain; we're at the top of the food chain: this is very, very serious.


The operators of Japan's devastated Fukushima nuclear plant have announced plans to remove 400 tons of highly irradiated spent fuel from the site, in an unprecedented operation that began Monday November 18. Nuclear researcher Harvey Wasserman believes that the highly risky procedure, in fact, the entire plant needs to be taken out of the hands of the operators- Tokyo Electric Power (TEPCO).


HW: Well, this is a major crisis. We finally got an article in The New York Times that has been blacked out in American major media ["Removing Fuel Rods Poses New Risks at Crippled Nuclear Plant"] Thank God for your show and for the internet.
There is a spent fuel pool 100 feet in the air, brilliant design. John King at CNN called it a "bathtub on the roof." It has no containment over it, and when the earthquake-tsunami hit, unit 4 had the fuel out. They were doing inspections in this pool, and a lot of it is very, very radioactive, and the stuff has been suspended 100 feet in the air since the accident. It actually caught on fire at one point, and they had to pour in seawater, which is corrosive. There is debris in the pool; we don't know the status of the fuel rods; and it has to come out of there because if, God forbid, [there's] another earthquake . . .  If one is strong enough to knock these fuel rods to the ground, they are clad in zirconium alloy, which will catch fire if it's exposed to air, spontaneously. Zirconium is the stuff that was in flashcubes that burn very brightly very quickly. If there is a fire of this stuff, there has been shown to be enough radioactive cesium in these rods to exceed the releases at Hiroshima by a factor of 14,000. We're talking about huge radiation leaks. So these rods have to be brought to the ground. It's never been done under these kinds of circumstances. 

LF: My question remains: is in the UN better equipped to do this than TEPCO?
HW: Yes. Well, TEPCO is a private corporation, they're still in it for the money. Arne Gunderson, a great nuclear engineer, wrote them and said you have got to dig a trench between the mountain where the water is rushing through at the rate of 300 tons a day, and the plant, so you can divert the water. They wrote him back and said you know what? We don't have enough money. So we have to have a situation where there is unlimited funds. That's not TEPCO, that's not even the Japanese government. 


Source: Truth-Out.org